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RYA Yachtmaster Courses

RYA Yachtmaster Courses

Summary of Course 

The Yachtmaster is the next shorebased level up from Day Skipper in the RYA syllabus. It expands on day-skippering knowledge to offshore-skippering and navigation with a more in depth look at meteorology and collision regulations. A large part of the course is dedicated to consolidating previously learned navigation methods. The full RYA syllabus covers all aspects of traditional chart work and navigation, inc; GPS and chart plotters, meteorology, IRPCS.


Prospective students must hold RYA Day Skipper Theory and have reasonable practical experience: able to skipper or navigate a vessel in familiar, coastal waters in fair weather by day*. Basic maths and English are necessary, however distant an education. There is an initial assessment for this course, which is designed to identify your needs as a student, in order for your tutor to best meet them. Any specific learning differences (e.g. dyslexia or dyspraxia) can be assessed and met better with early notice.* 

It is not possible to join this course without a Day Skipper Theory certificate as a prior qualification


By the end of this course you will receive a nationally recognised RYA Coastal Skipper & Yachtmaster theory certificate. This is an advanced navigation course teaching the necessary skills to skipper a boat in unfamiliar, offshore waters by day or night.

How will I learn?

The course structure is explained in the first week, where students receive a scheme of work & a summary of the session plans. Students are set-up with clearly defined goals. Sessions are largely, PowerPoint paced with practical tasks and homework is a major component of the course: a minimum 2 hours per week needs to be put aside for homework for some, more than 2 hours for others.

How will my progress be recorded? 

In the initial stages of the course, key learning targets are clearly identified and recorded, along with your own, individually identified targets. These are then used to monitor & assess your progress. There are then 3 formal papers (exams) at the end of the course: covering Collision Regulations; Meteorology; Chartwork needing a maximum 5 hours to complete over three sessions. Clearly, the exams will set the main criteria for monitoring and final assessment.

Will there be homework? If so how much/how many hours?  

Homework is a major factor in this course and one which will determine your successful progression throughout the subject. You should put aside a minimum of 2 hours per week for homework and expect this to increase if you want perfect marks or have any difficulty comprehending certain elements.

Will there be additional costs?  

Some courses are inclusive of your standard RYA Pack. You need to enquire about this at enrolment. If the pack is not included in the course-costs, the minimum extra cost will be approx £36 for the course pack & Almanac. As wit any subject, the list of materials to support the subject, vary in necessity. Course texts and tools will be identified and available to purchase during the first two sessions. The recommended book list is fairly short but necessary - see below Please note – charts used for Day Skipper prior to Sept 2006 will be of no use

Do I need specific equipment?

Access to a PC or laptop will assist home learning and tutor communications. Necessary additional equipment are: dividers, Portland Plotter,  soft eraser, 2B pencil, calculator, Alison Noice: Yachtmaster for Sail & Power; Collision Regulations (IRPCS); Admiralty 5011 – Chart Symbols; a compass (for drawing circles)

What related courses could I do next?

To compliment your skills as a skipper, you would logically consolidate this course with the practical counterpart Coastal Skipper then Yachtmaster Offshore practical experience & exams. In order to qualify for these, you must, at some point also gain a radio operators licence by completing a VHF course and the Diesel Engine certificate whilst First Aid is a responsible component - also due to be available. Further certificates are only necessary if you choose to qualify as an instructor.

Length of  class: usually 10am-5pm
Length of Intensive course: 6 days
Attendance Required: 100%

Date Event Venue Course Type
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